The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Kennedy bringing more than production

SMU forward Markus Kennedy (5) has averaged 11.6 points amd 6.8 rebounds a game and has shot .528 percent from the field during the 2013-14 season. Photo credit: Ryan Miller

There’s enthusiasm, confidence and talent oozing out of SMU sophomore forward Markus Kennedy as he takes the court each and every time for practice and games and as SMU gets deeper into conference play, expect his high level of play 
to continue.

“With me it’s just all confidence and being 100 percent, playing 100 percent every possession and every game,” Kennedy said. “For my teammates to have faith in me and to look up to me to be that player to lead the team right now is all I needed to get going.”

Kennedy hasn’t had a problem getting going in American Athletic Conference play, he’s leading the team in points with over 14 a game and rebounds with close to nine a game.

The big change began when Head Coach Larry Brown put Kennedy in the starting lineup, mainly due to center Yanick Moreira’s injury, but Kennedy has taken advantage.

“Coach Brown thinks that I could be a pro. That’s what he wants me to be,” Kennedy said. “He wants me to act like a pro and be a pro in practice, games, off the court and just be a pro in life and that’s really what our conversations turn out to be.”

No one knows better than Brown, who isn’t surprised by Kennedy’s success, but knew it would take some time.

“He’s had great coaches before in Jay [Wright at Villanova]. Only thing I’m trying to deal with Markus is trying to reach his potential,” Brown said of Kennedy, who sat out last year after transferring. “Not just doing it once in a while, doing it all the time. That’s his issue.”

“He’s been great and he has so much more to give. We’ve only seen a little of what he’s capable of doing.”

Kennedy’s work ethic since arriving on the Hilltop has blossomed under Brown, allowing him to find a good weight for his 6-foot-9 frame and for him to become the player he has this season.

“Just knowing your body. I found a weight I was comfortable at,” Kennedy said. “Trying to stay there in season is tougher because you can’t lift as much, you can’t run as much, you can’t put as much wear and tear on your body as the offseason.”

A half-mile on the treadmill on off days allows Kennedy to stay in game shape and with Moreira out a few more weeks, he’ll need to continue to work as he adjusts to being a starter.

One of the biggest contributions Kennedy makes is his passion on the court.

His teammates feed off of it and look to Kennedy as one of the leaders on the team.

“I’m all about the team, just give effort and I think it helps my teammates because everybody hits a wall at some point,” Kennedy said. “If you have that one player on the court that always wants to be happy and energetic, that’s going to hit a shot or make an open pass it just makes the game easier.”

The Mustangs will need players to step up like Kennedy has if the team wants to continue on its track to a possible tournament bid and Kennedy feels like SMU is going to be one of the 68 teams that make the NCAA tournament.

“I think we’re on the right track. Our defense is better than ever,” Kennedy said. “The offense is going to come, we’re going to make shots. We’re not just going to keep missing shots all season long.”

For Kennedy, it’s been a complete 180 since sitting out all last season to starting for one of the best teams in the AAC, but it’s the team play that has been key.

“I think we’re on the right track everybody just has to stay healthy and keep playing the way we’re playing and get a couple road wins and we’ll be fine,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy understand the key success now after a year with Brown and that continues to drive him.

“Just stay humble and work on being the best man you can be,” he said, “and give everything 100 percent and everything else that you want will fall in place.”

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